What is it like to have a ketamine infusion?

The medicine is given very slowly over 40 minutes. The first 15-20 minutes are uneventful with no noticeable effects. At around the 20 minute point, people tend to notice some blurring of vision or double vision, a feeling of  “floating”, or intoxication, similar to dental gas and sometimes there may be a slight “numb” feeling around the mouth and around the feet. Over the course of this 20 minute period, these feelings tend to build, so that the medicine is at the peak of its intensity at the very end. Other common feelings include euphoria, talkativeness, a feeling of being “disconnected” or in a dream, heightened perceptions – some say noises are louder and colors are more intense. These feelings start to subside approximately 10-15 minutes after the medicine is done and last for a total of 45-50 minutes. Most people can expect to be with us for about 90 minutes from the time you walk in the door to when you leave, with no side effects at that point and none between ketamine treatments.

Will I be awake?

Yes. Ketamine will not put you to sleep. We suggest relaxing and enjoying the experience

During the Infusion what should I do?

Many find it helpful and relaxing to listen to music and to wear an eyeshade or sunglasses. You are encouraged to sit back and relax.  Know coming in beforehand that you are in competent safe hands of qualified people that have years of experience.

How do I know if it worked/what should I expect?

You will fill out depression and anxiety scales prior to the first treatment (MADRS) and approximately 24 hours later. This will help determine response. It is possible to notice effects as soon as 40 min after the infusion, most typically starting 2-4 hours later, but sometimes taking up to 24 hours. Upon waking the signs of depression are not completely alleviated, but you will fell ‘uplifted”. Further improvements are often seen over the course of treatment.

How long will the results last?

A single infusion typically lasts anywhere from a couple of days up to 1-2 weeks.

A series of 6-12 infusions may last anywhere from weeks to months, and often a single booster around month 6 will restore response. For some not suffering from long lasting chronic depression it may last much longer than that.

What is the usual course of treatment?

Typically, it will take just 1 or 2 infusions to know if ketamine will help you. If you are having positive results, it is recommended to have a minumum 6 total infusions within the first 2 weeks. After that, maintenance (booster) infusions may be scheduled to maintain response. The total length of treatment is highly dependent on each individual’s unique circumstances.

Do I continue with my current psychiatrist, therapist, or primary care physician?

Yes. Georgia Ketamine physicians are serving in a consulting capacity to provide this procedure. It is recommended continue talking with a therapist and continue your current medication regimen.

How does ketamine compare to alternatives?

Most antidepressants (SSRIs) take weeks to months to work. These medications have common side effects of weight gain, sexual dysfunction, gastrointestinal disturbances, sleep disturbance, fatigue, and emotional blunting. Some newer “add-on” antidepressants also have risks of causing diabetes. Ketamine infusion therapy will have measurable results in 2-4 hours.

What are the success rates?

Approximately 70% of people respond to ketamine infusions.

Is it more expensive than taking an oral medication?

An infusion of ketamine is more expensive than a typical doctor’s visit and medication copay.  Although, with the ongoing doctor visits and medications cost, the Ketamine value is superior.

Find out more information about ketamine works for depression symptoms on our FAQ page